SACRAMENTO -- Still clinging to the narrowest of hopes, the Kings are going to force the San Antonio Spurs or New Orleans Pelicans to eliminate them from play-in contention.
After a shaky first half, the Kings woke up in the third quarter against a struggling Oklahoma City squad on Tuesday night. Behind the hot shooting of Terence Davis, Buddy Hield and Delon Wright, Sacramento punished the Thunder with a 41-18 third before coasting to a 122-106 victory.
Darius Bazley hit the Kings for 18 points, most of which came at the line and Kenrich Williams dropped in 20 points off the Thunder bench. In total, six OKC players scored in double figures, but it wasn’t enough for them to avoid their 49th loss of the season.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings picked up their sixth win in the last seven games to improve to 31-38 on the season.
Monte McNair took a gamble when he sent a second-round pick north of the border for the Raptors’ Terence Davis. The 23-year-old was having a down year after a breakout rookie season and he had some off-the-court issues hanging over his head as well.
Davis got off to a rough start in Sacramento, but with the Kings needing a scorer, he has gotten hot at the perfect time. In the first half, he ran over the Thunder on his way to 19 points and he didn’t end there.
Davis kept it going in the second half, finishing with 27 points on 9-of-15 from the field and 5-of-7 from 3-point range. This was Davis’ fifth straight game scoring in double-figures for Sacramento.
If you had Hield and Wright as the starting backcourt for the Kings down the stretch of the season, you win a prize. Against OKC, the pair was really good once again.
Limping around on a bad wheel, Hield showed off his shooting range, like he has in most of his time in a Kings uniform. He finished with 21 points on 5-of-11 from deep and chipped in five assists.
Wright was equally effective, dropping in 21 points, eight assists and four rebounds in 33 minutes of action. Since taking over for the injured Tyrese Haliburton, Wright has been impactful for the Kings.
The Kings have a few birthdays this month, including Davis, Harrison Barnes and Moe Harkless. Harkless turned 28 on Tuesday and he celebrated by putting a few Thunder players on posters.
Like Davis and Wright, Harkless has been a difference-maker for the Kings since coming over at the trade deadline. He played defense, knows his role and has even started to find his perimeter stroke.
Harkless dropped in 15 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists and blocked four shots before fouling out late. He’s a free agent after the season and the Kings should already be discussing a return with the veteran for next season.